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De Ligt on why he didn’t join United

Matthijs de Ligt admits he was blown away by the faith Juventus showed in him when they secured his transfer last summer. After an incredible season at Ajax, the young central defender was in hot demand with Manchester United one of the sides interested in signing him. De Ligt has now revealed how a conversation with former United great Cristiano Ronaldo helped him decide to make the move to Italy.

This is what he said in an interview with Wojciech Szczesny for YouTube channel Foot Truck:

“Last season I played for Ajax and won the Golden Boy [award], and it was here in Turin where I collected it. “That was the first time I travelled with my girlfriend to another place. Before I [signed] here, we already completed Turin.

“Of course, I had a lot of time to choose between the clubs I could join and, when I put everything on paper, Juventus were the best choice for me. Ronaldo did speak to me and obviously it was a big honour! “Juventus told me ‘the reason we want to buy you is because you’re already mature and you know how to handle pressure.’

“They also said to me it was difficult for a 19-year-old to go to another country, but ‘we have confidence in you and you’ll find your place soon.’

“When I went into the dressing room for the first time, I was like a kid in a sweet shop!

After two months, I felt like I could be myself more.”

Read more from De Ligt here

Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus